Rita and Max Lawrence began the firm Architectural Pottery (1950) to produce and market the pottery container designs of students
of LaGardo Tackett, professor at California School of Art. In 1971, the company name was changed to Group Artec and began
producing office furniture, public seating, tile, kiosks, modern dinner ware, and building directories (signage). The collection
consists of records of the firm Architectural Pottery/Group Artec and includes correspondence, publicity materials, photographic
slides and scrapbooks.
Almost a lifetime resident of Los Angeles, Rita Milaw Lawrence was graduated from UCLA in 1940 (political science snd sociology).
Earlier that year she was married to Max Lawrence, a New Yorker she met after he moved to Los Angeles following his graduation
from City College of New York; in 1950 they began the firm Architectural Pottery to produce and market the pottery container
designs of students of LaGardo Tackett, professor at California School of Art; began issuing catalogs in September 1950 featuring
products for the new modern postwar styles of architecture, using new design materials, such as fiberglass; the firm had three
locations in Los Angeles; subdivisions subsequently added included Architectural Fiberglass (1961), Pro-Artisan (1966), Arcon
(1971), Architectural Ceramic Surfaces (1972), and Graphic structures (probably, 1972); in 1971, the company name was changed
to Group Artec; the company produced varied products such as office furniture, public seating, tile, kiosks, modern dinner
ware, and building directories (signage).In 1972 when architect A. Quincy Jones responded to a query from the Los Angeles Times for a statement about Architectural
Pottery, he may also have encapsulated the essence of the manufacturing business established by Rita and Max Lawrence in 1950,
as well as the thrust of those times in terms of design influence. In 1950, Los Angeles thrived in a climate of exuberance
and what seems now to have been a boundless wellspring of creative energy that spawned a number of new design firms and manufacturers
whose products influenced design attitudes, internationally, within the decade. Echoes of that time resound with renewed vibrations
today in the questioning minds of researchers who seek to know how it all happened.By Rita Lawrence
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